I think most would agree that Bilt Rewards is an innovative loyalty program – and although their co-branded credit card was initially geared towards renters, it has features uncharacteristic of most no-annual-fee cards, making it a winner for just about anyone.
Yet despite a list of more than a dozen valuable transfer partners, the *bilt rewards card* continues to escape the wallets of many travelers due to one key reason – it lacks a sign-up bonus when you first get the card.
Without that big influx of points to kickstart points earning, the card hasn't appealed to non-renters the way it has to those who can use it to earn points on their biggest monthly expense.
But is that reasoning justified?
Unofficially, the Bilt Rewards Card does have a sign-up bonus. It comes by way of email the day your card arrives and it gives new cardholders 5x points on all purchases (excluding rent) for the first five days with the card. It's no sure thing, but enough people have reported getting the offer (including members of our own team) that it's more than a fluke.
This unofficial sign-up bonus means that if you're able to time getting the Bilt Rewards Card with a big expense like a tax payment, furniture purchase, home remodel, or medical bill, you can walk away with more points than many cards award as part of their official welcome offers. Add in the ability to earn double points on all non-rent purchases on the first day of every month and you can quickly build up a stash of Bilt points for your next vacation.
Let's take a closer look at this unofficial sign-up bonus and all the Bilt Card has to offer.
Read our full review of the Bilt Rewards Mastercard®!
Bilt Rewards Card Overview
Bilt Rewards burst onto the scene in the summer of 2021 by going where no loyalty program dared to go before – rewarding renters with valuable points and miles for making their monthly rent payments without additional fees. They further bolstered their loyalty program by debuting the *bilt rewards card* shortly thereafter and unleashed it to the masses by teaming up with Wells Fargo in the spring of 2022.
Now, more than two years after launching, Bilt is a household name with travelers and renters alike. And it's because the Bilt Card is packed with benefits that help it punch well above its weight class.
Here is what you need to know about the Bilt Rewards Mastercard:
- 1x points per dollar spent on rent in the Bilt Rewards app (up to $100,000 per calendar year)
- 1x points per dollar spent on everyday purchases
- 2x points per dollar spent on travel
- 3x points per dollar spent on dining
- Earn double points on Rent Day (the 1st of the month), up to 10,000 bonus points per month
- 6x points per dollar spent on dining
- 4x points per dollar spent on travel
- 2x points per dollar spent on everyday purchases
- 1x points per dollar spent on rent
- Trip cancellation, interruption, and delay protection
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Cell phone insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee!
Learn more about the *bilt rewards card*
It's important to note that in order to earn points for rent and purchases made with your Bilt Card, you need to make a minimum of five purchases each statement period. With this requirement, Bilt is encouraging you to keep their card at the top of your wallet and make it your go-to card for all your purchases. With the ability to earn additional points on dining and travel, that should be reason enough to make it an everyday contender for many folks.
For more information on Bilt Rent Day, check out some of the fun promotions they've run in the past!
Unofficial Sign-Up Bonus
On paper, the Bilt Card doesn't come with a sign-up bonus. What you get is a solid no-annual fee travel rewards credit card with perks and point earning more often seen on cards with annual fees in the $100 range.
But unofficially, the Bilt Card does come with a bonus offer that allows you to earn extra points during your first five days with the card. Again, the keyword here is unofficial, meaning there's a chance you won't get this offer when your card arrives. However, we've heard from enough people now that it seems you're more likely to get it than not.
Everyone who's reported getting the offer has received the same one: Earn 5x points on all your purchases (excluding rent) for the next five days. Bonus point earning is limited to 50,000 bonus points which means the maximum amount you could spend at 5x is $12,500 in the first five days.
If that math sounds off, it's not … but I don't blame you for thinking so. With this introductory promo offer you'll earn 1x base points and 4x bonus points on all purchases. Since the offer limits you to earning a maximum of 50,000 bonus points, you'll be able to spend up to $12,500 at 5x and walk away with more than 60,000 Bilt points in the process.
Timing your Bilt Rewards Card application with a big purchase like a quarterly tax payment, home remodel, or furniture purchase can be a great way to quickly earn a meaningful amount of Bilt points and unofficially earn a sign-up bonus in the process.
For more ideas on how to max out this bonus, read our guide to hitting your minimum spending requirement responsibly!
Double Points On Rent Day
For nearly a year now, Bilt has been turning the first of the month into a day to look forward to. They've dubbed it “Rent Day” as it's the day that most landlords ask their tenants to pony up and pay their rent. But rather than bemoaning the sudden dent in everyone's bank account, Bilt has given members a reason to celebrate with travel-focused promotions like complimentary elite status and even a 100% transfer bonus for all members.
Rent Day also gives members a chance to earn bonus points on every non-rent purchase with their Bilt Rewards cards. That's right, on the first of every month, Bilt cardholders will earn double points on all their spending, up to 10,000 bonus points each month. That means you can earn 6x points on dining, 4x points on travel, and 2x points on other purchases.
The double point earning on Rent Day, combined with the card's unofficial sign-up bonus means that it's actually not that hard to earn a pile of Bilt points after all.
Aside from the double points earning, Bilt also gives members a chance to earn additional points on the first of every month through its interactive trivia game, Point Quest.
For more info on other Rent Day promotions, here's a look back at some of the highlights from the past year:
|November 2023||Up to 150% transfer bonus to Emirates Skywards|
|October 2023||Bilt Experiences: NFL Suite & Game Tickets from 2.5K Bilt Points|
|September 2023||Free SoulCycle Rides|
|August 2023||Up to 150% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic|
|July 2023||Get up to $25 in Lyft credit|
|June 2023||Bilt's birthday celebration: Solve the puzzle and receive a present from Bilt|
|May 2023||100% transfer bonus to Air France/KLM Flying Blue|
|April 2023||Complimentary World of Hyatt Explorist elite status|
|March 2023||50% bonus on points redeemed with Amazon|
|February 2023||100% transfer bonus to Hawaiian Airlines|
|January 2023||Rent Day Challenge: Free rent (up to $2,500) for three people who correctly complete the challenge|
|December 2022||One full week of double points earning on the Bilt Rewards Mastercard and a 100% transfer bonus to IHG|
|November 2022||Complimentary United Airlines Premier elite status|
How to Use Bilt Points
Just because Bilt points can be fairly difficult to earn, doesn't mean they aren't useful – just the opposite. There are many ways to use Bilt points. And once you've got them, they're some of the most valuable points in the world of travel.
The easiest way to use them is to book through the Bilt Rewards travel portal, where each point will be worth 1.25 cents apiece. That means 10,000 Bilt points are worth $125 toward travel.
But you'll get the best value for your points by transferring to one of Bilt's 14 travel partners, including World of Hyatt, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles, United Mileage Plus, and British Airways Avios, among many others. And your points can go even further by taking advantage of Bilt's frequent Rent Day transfer bonuses.
Here's the full list of Bilt transfer partners:
|Aer Lingus Avios||Airline||1:1|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Airline||1:1|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Airline||1:1|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||Airline||1:1|
|British Airways Avios||Airline||1:1|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||Airline||1:1|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||Airline||1:1|
|Turkish Miles & Smiles||Airline||1:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||Airline||1:1|
|World of Hyatt||Hotel||1:1|
If you prefer to use your points for something other than travel, Bilt recently introduced the ability to “cash out” Bilt Rewards points (at a rate of .55 cents per point) by applying them as a statement credit to the outstanding balance on your Bilt Rewards Card. At approximately a half cent per point, redeeming them this way represents poor value and should really only be done as a last resort.
Don't write off the Bilt Card just because you're not a renter and it doesn't come with a juicy sign-up bonus … on paper. The card's unofficial welcome offer and Rent Day bonus point earning make it a winner for anyone with a large purchase on the horizon.
Learn more about the *bilt rewards card*